Technology and Magic
I finally acquiesced to being old. Okay, maybe not that far, but I realize I need help. I can’t write as fast as I used to. That’s probably because of accidents I’ve had in my misspent youth, which means that I can’t really type that fast.
Oh, who am I kidding? I’ve always been a slow typist.
The Dead Type Faster Than I Do
I had a coworker once claim that the only people who can type slower than I can, is the dead. And since I’m not a necromancer, nor do I know any necromancers around, I can truly say that that has never been tested. So, I constantly say that the dead type faster than I do. It elicits chuckles, but it is a definite problem when you’re a writer.
Being a Slow Typer and a Prolific Writer
You would think that being a slow typer and a prolific writer would be mutually exclusive. Au contraire. The truth is I never had a typing course. Of course, my mom wanted me to take typing in school, but I decided that taking a typing course in high school was the equivalent of acquiescing to a secretarial job. That was something I had no desire to do.
But, I didn’t really think about how much I would type as a software engineer, which was originally my chosen profession. If I had been thinking straight — and who think straight when their 15 to 18 years old? — I would’ve realized that taking Typing I would have been useful for writing programs.
Sending Typewriters to the Graveyard
Furthermore, as a budding author, I had already burned up at least two home typewriters. It got so bad that my dad ended up getting an old style IBM Selectric. (Not the cool IBM Selectrics that we still see occasionally in offices. Oh no, this was one with a movable carriage return. If I had thought it wasn’t cool at the time, it still managed to outlast my budding attempts at authorship. It managed to survive at least one poorly written novel, and maybe another one. I don’t remember, because it was that long ago.
Word Processors and Computers
You would think once I was out in the real workforce, I would buy a computer. Ah, you’re assuming that I actually lived during a time when computers were relatively inexpensive. Ha!
As a software engineer, I was making $27,000 a year, which was average for a new hire. IBM ATs, and eventually XTs, ran in the thousands of dollars. Like four or $5000. If you compare what I made to how much a brand-new IBM would cost, which didn’t have any of the nifty apps that we have nowadays, and had to be programmed in Basic for the most part, you can see my reticence for purchasing one.
I think you could also program them in assembly language, which wasn’t particularly fun to do. Plus quite honestly, why the fuck would I program at home, when that was what I was doing at work?
So, when Brother word processors became a thing, I wrote several articles and even a couple of books on one.
Why I’m Telling You All This
At this point, you’re probably wondering why I’m taking you on a boring trip down memory lane. It’s because after several times of using Dragon NaturallySpeaking on various computers, I’ve ended up with a subscription on an app on a tablet.
And it seems like fucking magic. Except when you try to have it say the word, “Fuck.” Dragon NaturallySpeaking seems to have an aversion to swear words. Which is bucking cool. Buck buck buck. — See what I mean?
Dragon NaturallySpeaking used to be meh when it came to figuring out words. Now, it’s positively brilliant.
And this is when technology has bridged the gap to magic.
When Technology can be Mistaken for Magic
At this point, you’re saying that magic is magic and technology is technology. I’d agree with you, except throughout history, humans have always depicted their gods with the same technology they use. Case in point: armor, weapons, clothing, and household goods. Our gods’ abilities seem to coincide with ours, with the exception of “magic.”
Could it be, we depict our gods’ the way we can only understand at that time given the current level of technology, and not really how are gods are? It’s an interesting thought.
When we depict our gods, we depict them as creatures from a thousand years ago. And yet, are we to say that we as humans are more technologically advanced than the Nordic gods? That are gods don’t have access to technology that we do? Do we depict Thor with Viking weapons and armor, or maybe it would be better to depict him with full battle-rattle and an AR-15? Mjolnir as a rifle? OMGs.
To take this further — are Idun’s apples are actually some type of longevity medicine? Do the gods ride in cars instead of chariots? Freyja in a Jaguar; Thor in a GTO? Hugin and Mugin are drones for Odin? I mean, I can go on and on with this.
And if I’ve made your brain hurt, that’s okay. Because what the flock? Uh, I mean…buck. I mean FUCK!!
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